South Shore Breaker
No more living out of a suitcase
Community theatre is not for the tired.
From finding scripts, to sewing hemlines, to selling tickets, there is a long list of jobs to do to get a play on stage.
Add to that finding appropriate venues, putting up and taking down entire stages, and continually moving and storing the props and costumes as needed, it’s daunting to say the least.
Yet, it is the story of the South Shore Players, a community theatre group entertaining Lunenburg County since 1993 and, according to president Jon Allen, never really having a complete home of their own.
The theatre started as many do, with an idea, a statement. Allen remembers it well. It was the summer of 1993.
“I met with Roy Portchmouth, who was the guiding light behind South Shore players. He said (to me), ‘we should put on a show this Christmas.’ This was probably in the summer sometime, and he said, ‘What about A Christmas Carol?’ I said, ‘well, where are we going to put it on? We don’t have any actors. We don’t have any costumes.’ We didn’t have anything at all!”
Long story short, not only did the show go on, it was a success and foreshadowed good things to come.
“I think the community itself embraced it,” Allen said, “and it really encouraged us to go on.”
The players became a staple of theatre in the region, staging at least two plays per year and adding workshops and theatre camps.
With all the success of the organization, the fact is they’ve been living out of their suitcases for almost 30 years. The group has not yet had the pleasure of having a permanent stage and considerable storage for all their things, all in one place.
“We had all our sets, costumes and props here, there, and everywhere,” Allen recalled, until 2017, when they moved everything to the United Church in Mahone Bay.
News in January that the players will move to a permanent home in Bridgewater is exciting for everyone.
“We’ve got a place which we can call our own. We have a five-plus year lease, so we can really put down our roots there; we don’t have to be looking for a place to perform.
“We have a number of lights,” added Allen, “they can be hung there.”
Located in the former Bridgewater Memorial Arena, the top floor auditorium space will serve as the home of the players.
“We are just chomping at the bit to get in there, but we don’t really envisage any performance there probably until next spring.”
The South Shore Players will
be performing the last weekend of May at the Central United Church hall in Luneburg.
“The next performance we have is called Locally Yours. It is six one-act plays written by six local playwrights.
The longest play is probably about 25 minutes, maybe 30 minutes long, (and) there is such variety,” Allen noted.
“We started Locally Yours about four years ago. I think it really shows the local talent we have.”